Council Preview: July 17, 2019

Hello, and welcome to the preview for the July 17, 2019 Middlesex Centre Council meeting! There is only one meeting happening this month, so we have a nice, full agenda for you! Let’s take a look at what Council will be considering.

Closed Meeting

First, Council is starting at 17:00 (5pm) this week and will be going straight into a closed meeting with two items on the agenda; one pertaining to an identifiable individual, and then four items subject to solicitor-client privilege. Who said governing is boring?

Court of Revision

If you have read past previews or recaps, you may have recognized that each municipal drain goes through a Court of Revision to hear any appeals before the job is tendered and (re)construction actually begins. That will be happening this week regarding the Martin Road (Delaware) Development Drain. Mayor DeViet, Councillor Shipley, and myself will sit on this Court of Revision this time (Council members are drawn at random).

Delegations, Presentations & Petitions

  • Dr. Jessica Howard & Dr. Legar, from the Middlesex Centre Regional Medical Centre in Ilderton, will be before Council to discuss the building’s property taxes.
  • Brendan Wraith, on behalf of the Lucan-Ilderton Minor Baseball Association, will be before Council asking us to designate Ilderton #1 Diamond at Heritage Park as The Rudy Godwin Field.
    • In full disclosure, I have met Brendan previously and ran into him at a wedding recently, where he made me aware that this request would be coming to Council in July.
    • I never met Rudy Godwin, but it’s my understanding he was well respected in the Lucan-Ilderton baseball association’s ranks.

Consent Agenda

  • The June 2019 building report shows several new homes ready to start along Crestview Dr in Kilworth (new subdivision), 10 more condos started in Bella Lago, and a smattering of other work around the ward. As expected, we are now well ahead of the pace set in 2018, and almost double the number of permits were issued in June 2019 vs. June 2018.
  • We a short overview showing that the 2020 budget is already underway! Next year’s operating budget and the 5-year capital budget are already under review, and once again Middlesex Centre staff will be polling residents for their thoughts and opinions starting in August.
  • The budget to date looks pretty good. Any issues can mostly be explained by the timing of certain revenues or expenses.

Staff Reports

  • First up we have applications for this year’s Ilderton Community Improvement Program grants. Four applications have been selected for approval by Council, though I have a question about one of them that I have sent to staff.
  • Next we have the results of the RFP for new playgrounds in Poplar Hill and Ilderton (Heritage Park). Based on the criteria and scoring set out in the RFP, staff are recommending that:
    • Poplar Hill Park be awarded to Henderson Recreation Equipment Ltd, and
    • Heritage Park be awarded to New World Park Solutions (Playworld).
    • Total cost for both jobs comes in at $129,346.76 which is within the budget set aside for these projects.
  • Next, we have a proposed by-law change that would allow the municipality to repair or patch driveways and lawns where curb stops may have to be accessed for repairs. If approved, municipal staff or a contractor would patch driveways (but not necessarily match them) and repair lawns as best as possible, up to a maximum of $2,000 per repair.
    • Keep in mind that this does not mean that a stamped concrete driveway would be matched. It’s likely that plain concrete would be placed around the equipment in question, or asphalt poured for an existing asphalt driveway.
    • While I know many homeowners would appreciate this change, given how many times we’ve had to say no to requests similar to Mr. Stork’s in the past, I’m not sure how I feel about this proposed change.
  • Staff will be looking for two Council members to join their budget meetings and provide feedback. As noted in the report, Deputy Mayor Brennan and I participated in the process back in 2017. I look forward to seeing who’s interested in participating in the 2020 budget!
  • And then we turn back to the fire inspection services that Middlesex County terminated last month, and our search for a long-term solution. After meetings with the Ontario Fire Marshall, area CAOs and fire chiefs, and much research, Fire Chief Toth is proposing that MXC hire a Fire Prevention and Training Officer that would also support North Middlesex, and therefore they would contribute an appropriate portion of the officer’s compensation.
    • The Chief is also looking to strike an agreement with Strathroy-Caradoc that could be revenue neutral and also see us sharing services with them. We’ll see what happens there!
  • Looks like we had a clerical error in the Melrose water system report from earlier this year that has now been rectified.
  • Fire Services stopped washing and drying bunker gear in-house last year in order to drastically cut down expenses, having a certified third-party service provider do it instead. That meant having some spares on hand, which is still drastically cheaper. As a result Chief Toth is seeking the purchase of additional storage racks for Bryanston and Arva stations, and is well under his budget for this whole project in 2019.
  • And finally, Hydro One just issued an invoice very, very late for some work done in Delaware back in 2017. Staff are seeking approval to pay it since the 2018 accounts are already closed.

Public Meetings

Only one of importance to Ward 4, that being Renwick Estates. That is the proposed subdivision northwest of Oxbow Drive and Komoka Road. I already wrote a bit about it last week, but here are the reasons for the official plan amendments they are seeking:

  • Amend the land use schedule by adding a proposed collector road (Oxbow Drive) and to remove the aggregate overlay.
  • Re-designate the subject lands from ‘Residential’ to ‘Residential (single family dwelling) and Medium Density Residential.’
    • The applicants are proposing five Medium Density Residential blocks to permit a variety of housing types and to increase the overall density of the proposed Plan of Subdivision.
  • Lastly, a proposal to amend Section 5.7.4 of Middlesex Centre’s Official Plan to permit a limited number of garages on freehold residential lots to project 1.5 metres (4.9 feet) closer to the street line than the other components of the structure.
  • The reason for the Zoning By-law Amendment is to rezone the property from Existing Use (EU) to several site-specific zones in order to accommodate the proposed residential uses.
  • Overall, the Plan proposes to create 173 building lots for single detached dwellings and blocks for future residential development on 20.77 hectares (51.3 acres) of land.

Please keep in mind that it is unlikely Council will actually make any decisions regarding the proposed amendments on Wednesday. Staff are recommending that Council receive the report and any comments for information only. Therefore you should expect Council to take that course of action, and actual decisions will be made at a later meeting, possibly in August or September.

I’m still reading through the 742 pages 😲 and will continue to compile any questions I have for the meeting.

Thanks for reading!